Heidi Hackford is the content and curriculum director for the Exponential Center at the Computer History Museum. She is responsible for leading the development of educational materials focused on innovation and entrepreneurship. Heidi previously worked at Monticello, where she edited Thomas Jefferson’s family letters. At the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, she established a digital archive and conducted teacher workshops on incorporating digital history resources in the classroom. After moving to Silicon Valley, Heidi directed the start-up of a new foundation promoting wilderness conservation through art.
In 1962, Evelyn Berezin designed a reservation system for United Airlines that served 60 cities throughout the United States with a one-second response time. It had no central system failures in 11 years of operation. One of the largest systems built at that time, few people had the skills to design it, but Berezin was turned down for a subsequent job at the New York Stock Exchange because she might hear language on the trading floor that was “inappropriate for women.” Undeterred, she started her own computer company, Redactron, which quickly became a success. Evelyn Berezin was selected by the Computer History Museum (CHM) as a 2015 Fellow, honoring her early work in computer design and a lifetime of entrepreneurial activity. The Museum captured Berezin’s story in its freely accessible oral history collection and remains committed to ensuring that women are not only acknowledged for their contributions to computing and entrepreneurship past and present but also that their stories are shared.Read More
Silicon Valley: The Untold Story, a new three-part documentary from award-winning Kikim Media airing on Discovery’s Science Channel in March 2018, reveals what has made Silicon Valley a hotbed of innovation and entrepreneurship for decades. As the community and educational outreach partner for the film, the Computer History Museum (CHM) hosted a premiere event with a panel discussion of Valley leaders featured in the movie: WhatsApp cofounder Jan Koum, technology entrepreneur Kim Polese, DFJ venture capitalist Heidi Roizen, and Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak. Journalist Michael S. Malone moderated the session, which was followed by a sneak preview of the first segment in the film series, “Secret Sauce.”Read More
It will ruin your eyes, turn your brain to mush, and kids will see things they shouldn’t. The content is all just designed to sell stuff. It will destroy relationships—people won’t interact with family and friends in person anymore. What innovation prompted these dire predictions? The television when it came on the scene in the 1950s. And we’re raising the same questions and concerns about the smartphone today. New technologies tend to have that effect on people, who are hardwired to fear new things and worry about unintended consequences. They need time to learn how to understand and integrate new technologies into their daily lives. One of the most iconic smartphones—the iPhone—is only 10 years old. Humans are still learning to adapt to the new world it has brought.Read More
One of Silicon Valley’s great advantages, says author Leslie Berlin, is how accessible experienced founders and legendary CEOs are to the next generation of entrepreneurs. Steve Jobs counted David Packard of Hewlett-Packard and Robert Noyce of Intel among his mentors. Facebook’s young founder Mark Zuckerberg looked to Jobs for advice and also to Bob Taylor of Xerox PARC. Taylor is one of the seven pioneering individuals featured in Leslie Berlin’s book Troublemakers: Silicon Valley’s Coming of Age. Together, these “troublemakers” disrupted the world because they imagined a better future and were driven to help create it. Project historian for the Silicon Valley Archives at Stanford University, Berlin spoke about her book in a fireside chat at the Computer History Museum (CHM) with the Exponential Center’s Marguerite Gong Hancock on December 13, 2017.Read More
Diane Greene says her favorite experience ever was when, as a young woman, she windsurfed 15 miles from Molakai to Maui . . . alone. That confidence in her abilities and comfort with taking risks has served her well throughout her storied career as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, leading engineering teams and cofounding multiple startups. These include virtualization giant VMware, which she took to a $2 billion run rate over the course of 10 years. As CEO, Greene took the company public and oversaw its sale to EMC in 2003 for $635 million. Now she leads Google’s cloud enterprise, directing the growth and strategy of a major business partnering with customers like Snapchat, Disney, and eBay, and sits on the boards of Alphabet, Intuit, and MIT. In a July 2017 fireside chat with Exponential Executive Director Marguerite Gong Hancock at the Computer History Museum (CHM), Greene shared her experiences and insights.Read More
It takes both vision and commitment to see that expanding educational opportunities today will make a better future and then to create a company to do just that. Calico Chief Computing Officer and Coursera cofounder and cochair Daphne Koller and GoldieBlox founder and CEO Debra Sterling have done it. In a panel produced by CHM Live and the Exponential Center at the Computer History Museum (CHM) on November 7, Koller and Sterling candidly discuss the challenges and rewards of creating their businesses from the ground-up and offer advice to new entrepreneurs—particularly women.Read More
Before the iPhone landed like a meteorite in 2007, it wasn’t clear that a revolution in mobile phones was coming or even necessary, says Benedict Evans, partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Back in 2006, it seemed that the devices, like cars and cameras, were making slow and steady progress with incremental improvements in design and technology. Desktop computers were dominant, but mobile phones also had features and apps, though they were expensive and distribution channels restrictive. Text messaging was possible but cost a lot, and users could browse the internet, although it was so difficult many didn’t bother. The iPhone changed all that.Read More